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During senior guard Patrick Holloway’s four seasons at Paul IV, he earned the nickname ‘The Assassin.’ On Monday night, Holloway’s last shot as a Panther proved to be lethal to DeMatha’s WCAC title hopes.
The senior came off a curl and hit a fade-away jumper to give Paul VI a one-point edge. DeMatha had an opportunity to answer with two seconds remaining.
“We wanted to put the ball in Patrick’s hands,” Panthers head coach Glenn Farello said. “We run a series of handoffs for him. We wanted him to come off that series and drive with it. He made an incredible shot. When Patrick rose up and I saw his wrist snap down, I knew that was going in. He’s special.”
The Stags took a timeout to draw up a final play. Once the Stags returned to the court and showed their initial look, the Panthers took time out. For a moment it seemed Paul VI pulled a Chris Webber—called a timeout with none remaining. The scoreboard clearly showed the Paul VI was out of timeouts, but the scorebooks at the table showed they still had one remaining. The Panthers were granted the timeout and were not charged with a technical foul.
“We had a timeout,” Farello said. “That is a mistake we would never make. The scoeres table said we had one so there were no issues.”
Out of the lengthy timeout, the Stags put the ball in the hands of senior guard James Robinson. The senior’s last-second shot bounced off the rim and fell wide giving the Panthers a 55-54 win. It is Paul VI’s first WCAC championship in program history.
“Its such an incredible feeling,” Farello said. “I’m so happy for these kids. When they first got to Paul VI with me we had to sell it to them and sell the dream to them. For it to come to fruition I’m so proud of them.”
Paul VI’s Jamall Robinson led all scorers with 16 points. Holloway added 11, while Coleman Johnson chipped in 10 points for the Panthers.
Jairous Lyles’ 13 points led the Stags’ offense. BeeJay Anya chipped in 12 points, Jerami Grant added 10, while Robinson contributed 10 points.
Both teams were in foul trouble down the stretch. Both James Robinson and Holloway played with four fouls down the stretch. Despite the foul issues, the Stags were able to erase a 47-40 deficit in the fourth quarter when Anya threw down a dunk to tie the game at 51 with 2:27 to play.
After a Paul VI bucket gave the Panthers a 53-51 edge, Lyles hit a layup and drew a foul for a 3-point play opportunity. Lyles hit the freebie to give the Stags a 54-53 lead with 19 seconds to play.
But it wasn’t enough as Holloway drained the decisive bucket on the Panthers ensuing possession.
“It means a lot,” Holloway said. ‘I don’t think its hit me yet. It feels really good—knowing we knocked off DeMatha. They won it last year so I felt like we had to do our best to knock them off and we did. People kept doubting us and saying that we couldn’t win and beat them three times in a row. We knew we could do it and we believed in ourselves.”
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